“God has created us to love and to be loved, and this is the beginning of prayer-to know that He loves me, that I have been created for greater things.”St. Teresa of Calcutta
LOVE…. A word that I often struggle with.
What about you? Do you sometimes feel the incapacity to love or feel loved? Have you struggled with loving someone when your expectations weren’t met? What about feeling loved in the midst of the disappointment? How about the moment you disappointed yourself with your own actions? Was loving yourself a struggle?
God created each of us not because He needed to, but because He loves us and desires us to love.
Our very purpose God created us for was for love.
In our human weakness, because we are sinners, our imperfection often creates a barrier making it difficult for us to respond in the love that we were created to exercise towards one another and ourselves. Does it mean we aren’t loved, or aren’t able to love? Of course not! Does God love us less because of it? Of course not!
GOD CALLS US TO RECONCILE
When we fall short of God’s expectations, when we sin, where does God call us?
The conviction in our hearts, that nudge of guilt we feel when we sin is God nudging us to come closer to Him, to close the GAP we created through our sin. He calls each of us to repent and repair the damage of our sin in our heart and in the world. Why? Because He LOVES us with “a perfect love [that] drives out fear (1 John 4:18).”
MEASURING STICK OF LOVE
My love will never be perfect, and I will never receive a perfect love from anyone other than God because I am imperfect and live in a broken world.
I also can never measure my ability to love to someone else’s because God created me to love differently from anyone else. The one constant between you and I is that God loves us with a perfect love, and He calls us to love with all He has instilled within us using the gifts He has blessed us with.
Individuals will come into our lives and show us a different love, or they may challenge the way we love. In some cases, it could reveal to us that we aren’t loving as God has created us to (not using our unique gifts to love) and we have a learning curve ahead of us. It is in these differences of showing love that we draw closer to God’s awe and His amazing love, discovering gifts of others and gifts of self.
Every moment is a teachable moment created by God. Last night, I acknowledged one of those moments as I was helping my daughter. Her actions, words and my participation, illustrated in a very strange way perhaps this very thing of love in an imperfect world with a God that loves perfectly.
My daughter had this vision of what she wanted to create. I’m the assistant without a clue of exactly what she is trying to do. She tells me she is wanting to create a turtle. She has Reese’s peanut butter cups, M&M’s, almonds and melted chocolate. My first thought was a chocolate candy turtle, but without pecans. She is going to use these other ingredients, right?
She begins to put together what is in her mind and becomes extremely frustrated and is going back and forth to the trash can and saying, “epic failure.” I’m still trying to figure out what she’s trying to do so that I can assist and so that she doesn’t feel like she has failed.
Never happens in real life circumstances, RIGHT?
I begin asking a bunch of questions and finally realize what she is trying to do. She wants to insert almond slices into the Reese’s to create a turtle head, turtle legs and a tail. She wants to put the M&M’s on the back to create a turtle shell. Ok now I see what she is wanting to create. I begin to help her make holes in the Reese’s cup, which is a challenge because every Reese’s is not created equal – may be in taste but not in chocolate thickness.
You’re probably thinking what in the world does that have to do with this topic. Stay with me, hopefully it will make some sense, some kind of connection for you.
Throughout the course of life, we are all faced with many frustrating moments that seem like “epic failures.” Often in these moments, whether on the receiving end or on the frustrating end, it is difficult to respond in a loving, merciful, compassionate way.
Our human nature was created for relationship, created to love.
What is our role in this creation? THE ASSISTANT….
We are essentially assisting Him in His creation. Just as I did not have all the information to assist my daughter in the midst of her frustration, we may not fully know the entire picture of what God has in mind for us. The one thing we do know is that God created us from love and for love. In assisting God in His creation of us, our life, we are also assisting in His plan for love of one another.
In that plan He didn’t create us exactly the same. Each of us is uniquely different, just like the layer of chocolate on the outside of the Reese’s – moment to moment, person to person. There is one perfect ingredient packed within each of us, God’s love. This ingredient is what makes the creation (YOU) perfect, not an “epic failure.” It is this love that fills us in life to overcome all things – fear, disappointment, pain, etc. Because of this LOVE, nothing is an “epic failure.” You may have to adjust and adapt the way you love, but you are equipped, packed like peanut butter in the Reese’s, to love and be love just as God created you to and for. The most epic thing about His love is that it is unchanging. No matter what we’ve done or what our circumstance is, He loves us the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His LOVE = EPIC SUCCESS!
I invite you to reflect on God’s love and view with your heart this perfect love that He is inviting you to embrace and pour out through your own unique gifts onto the world, your community, your family and yourself.